Running today, on a route out towards Barnby (A heron majestically cruised above me) before heading into Coddington village before back to town through the Beacon Hill reserve before a little trot along the river. About 7 and a half miles in all.
Everywhere, in either hedgerow, or stand alone tree form, Hawthorns are in bloom - May Blossom as my mother refers to it. There's a few gorse bushes about as well on the way up to Coddington, again in flower. Due to high winds and not terribly warm temperatures all the butterflies must have been indoors reading Heat magazine - the wind also played havoc with my ear phones and frankly seemed to be making my trackies nearly fall down - ah the joys of weight loss...
Like I said, not a lot going on, swallows around but no swifts yet, I took the time to look, which is stupid really while running on a potholed road enjoyed by middle aged boy racers in Mazda MX5s. What I did see a fair few of though, was goldfinches.
When I was a little boy, I always thought they were as rare as anything and a sighting was something to get really excited about. Nowadays they are regarded as quite common I think, but always for me there is a thrill about seeing one of what is for me our most attractive garden bird.
As Mike Skinner would put it - "They are fit and don't they know it!"
Whereas most of the finches and similar I see out on foot or wheel are sighting of flashing white tailbars erupting briefly in and out of hedges, or yellowhammers flushed out of hiding by my plodding approach, coy linnets briefly seen amongst the leaves. The Goldfinch however sits bold as very shiny brass on tree branch and telegraph wire and never flinches as I "steam" past, red face a mark of pride not embarassment. They probably laugh at other finches for being so plain.
No wonder so money of the poor damn things used to end up in cages.